The benefits of being comfortable with face-to-face interaction are evident in everything we do from family interactions, to workplace effectiveness, to travel… and the ability to work with people in any situation we may encounter. The best time to start developing this ability is while attending college in a relatively “safe” environment, where making mistakes is not only expected, but can even be encouraged. College professors, first and foremost when presenting themselves in the advisory role, allow every student the opportunity to hone their engagement skills with someone who perhaps does make them nervous. Exercising their relationship building muscles, when under a bit of stress, is a good thing since this will often be the case for many when engaging with people of status and influence, but the professor is a safe-zone. Professors need to make this known, help students to understand the benefit, and encourage them to reach out regularly without fear of the inevitable mistakes and missteps.
Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.