Snowboarder Aleksi Litovaara had a long career on the slopes, and now he is involved in workplace wellbeing as a mindfulness teacher, a business trainer and work advisor. He focuses on stress management and concentration skills as well as recovery and renewal. It was Litovaara’s own experiences of stress and coming close to a burnout that directed him to this new career. His family also played a huge role.
“I first followed my father, a sound designer, to the world of TV, and then followed my mother into the work wellbeing business. She has spent her working life with the same issues,” says Litovaara.
A Relaxed Attitude from the Slopes
Litovaara thinks that the most important aspect in the ever-changing world of work is for everyone to be able to do things they find inspiring.
“I focus on helping people to discover what motivates them. Strength is vital for improving people’s internal motivation.”
For Litovaara, freedom is the most significant inner motivator. The idea of freedom comes from his past and the relaxed atmosphere in the snowboarding community. He emphasizes the fact that everyone has both the responsibility as well as the freedom to find the attitude and working method that best suits them.
“You can make your job really hard or you can choose to take it easy.”
Another factor that Litovaara highlights is compassion: you should go easy on yourself as a worker. If the screws are continually being tightened, with everyone expected to work faster and more efficiently, there is no time to focus on tasks properly, and that is when mistakes are made.
“Finns tend to withdraw into themselves. If you or someone else is going through a difficult time, it’s important to think compassionately what is needed in the situation. To face up to the facts, to listen and understand, and then react.”
It is meetings with other people that make a workplace flourish. Comparisons should be replaced by collaboration, and everyone should feel that they are important and part of something bigger.
Peace of Mind
Aleksi Litovaara has a little bit of the pioneer spirit. He was one of the first snowboarders who went to conquer the snowy slopes of the world, and he has always known that mental training is important. Even nowadays, mindfulness is considered something odd, even if its benefits have been scientifically proven and it gets a lot of media coverage.
“Younger people are nonconformists by nature. Whatever they do, they want to have fun; they want to travel and gain experiences.”
You can go places with the right attitude.
“With a beginner’s open mind and a scientist’s inquisitive approach, you can come across wonderful experiences in your everyday life.”
Litovaara represents the youthful school of business coaches.
“Looking after yourself and promoting wellbeing is not just about gym vouchers or for older people. It’s great to see how wellbeing benefits employees and companies. I’d like to use my own experiences to inspire people to look after themselves.”
Individuality plus Friendliness
Litovaara underlines the importance of being a team player, yet how people management also plays a huge role in a successfully organized workplace. Good managers think ahead and see things in a context of sustainability. As a work advisor he often sees situations where people have been squeezed dry.
“That doesn’t benefit anyone. Being friendly and gentle makes people cope better, and when you’re feeling good, you’re more creative. It doesn’t work if a manager decides on a mold for everyone to fit into. We have to have individual methods to draw out the best from everyone.”
Litovaara believes that ideas trickle down from managers.
“We need to shake people up; they must look after their bodies and find their strengths. This would also show everyone what compassion means in a workplace; we all like to be heard and valued. These issues are essential when we streamline the workplace in the long run,” says Litovaara and continues: “Finland will soon thrive again. Love thy neighbor and promote the good stuff!”
Everyone Is Valuable
The mindfulness trainer thinks that people will be valued in the future.
“I love people! I hope that everyone’s needs would be taken into consideration so that we could create conditions where we could all be the best we could be.”
Litovaara is annoyed by the various measurements to assess employees’ productivity and evaluations that are too negative.
“I think we should encourage people to trust each other and offer them responsible freedom. Employees want to get results and be professionals. We should acknowledge successes and new skills.”
Litovaara offers a simple piece of advice for wellbeing: The right attitude and focus on positive matters.
“Find the smallest step you can take today and go for it!”
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