3 o’clock dance party

By Erica Keswin

Last week I took the stage at Transform to talk about one of my favorite topics – Navigating Leadership in the Hybrid Horizon: The Crucial Role of Middle Managers. The room was packed, so clearly it’s on other people’s minds as well.

At the end of the talk, a woman walked up to me to introduce herself and said how much she enjoyed the conversation. I looked down and immediately recognized her name. I had interviewed her for my second book, Rituals Roadmap.

I ran and got the book, opened it to page 107 and highlighted where she and LinkedIn were profiled. Dr. Chrissy Roth-Francis and her boss at the time, Sara Dowling, had shared an important team ritual with me—the 3 o’clock dance party. Every day at 3 PM, they would stop what they were doing, someone would pick one song, and they would dance, connect, laugh…and then get back to work. That was it. It didn’t cost a dime, but the impact was palpable.

We took a photo and said our goodbyes. Later, Chrissy posted on LinkedIn about connecting with me and wrote about the ritual. What happened next was not surprising, but it was a reminder of the hidden power (and magic) of workplace rituals.

Current and former LinkedIn colleagues started to chime in about the 3 o’clock dance party:

“I loved walking around TD (L&D then) around that time 🙂 So awesome that Erica Keswin remembered and acknowledged!”

“This is really cool. I guess we need to bring back the 3 o’clock dance parties?”

“I miss that time but look forward to creating more of the same spirit in the new times!”

“I’m feeling like we need to find more spaces for us to be goofy!”

“This is awesome. Hey, it’s 3 p.m. somewhere🕺!”

While I spent last week learning about some amazing new technologies and the potential of AI, I was also reminded about the importance of finding the sweet spot between tech and connect. Leveraging the tech for all of its greatness, but also putting that technology “in its place” and connecting as humans. Rituals are an amazing tool to help us do that.

The 3 o’clock dance party helped people take a break from work, look away from their screens, have some fun, and remember to bring their human to work.

Because bringing your human to work (and letting loose) – is good for people and great for business.


About Erica

Erica Keswin is an internationally sought-after speaker, bestselling author, and workplace strategist who partners with some of the most well-known companies in the world on how to bring their human to work. For the past two decades, Erica’s work has defined what it means to be a human leader. Erica’s Human Workplace Trilogy: Bring Your Human to Work, Rituals Roadmap, and The Retention Revolution was published by McGraw Hill and each debuted as a Wall Street Journal bestseller. 

When Erica isn’t writing books, she delivers keynotes, leads workshops, and coaches top-of-class companies and individuals to help them improve their performance by honoring relationships in today’s hybrid workplace.

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