Excuses to Cancel a Meeting- A Complete Guide

Excuses to Cancel a Meeting

Some things in life will cause you to be unable to fulfill your obligations, and this is part of life. Meetings may sometimes be postponed or canceled due to any number of reasons. It’s better to come up with a good reason why you are canceling a meeting at the last minute. It is therefore important that the excuses for canceling a meeting are realistic, and not trivial. So, today’s topic- Excuses to Cancel a Meeting.

Issues have to be pressing or unforeseen circumstances needing attention right away. Poor excuses, such as being stressed out, being too tired, and having a hair appointment, could have negative consequences; you may even lose your job.

  1. At school, your child is ill

Take, for instance, the situation where your child feels unwell at school but is not so sick as to call the doctor. Assuming this scenario plays out, the school would contact the parents and arrange for child pick-up from school.

If this happens, either you pick him/her up or somebody will need to do it for you. When you need to pick up your child from school, you’ll have to cancel everything you’re doing and basically clear your schedule in order to do so. You can only allow a babysitter to take your child if you are not at home.

The truth is that these things can happen to anyone, and no decent boss will suggest you abandon your child or leave him or her at school. You should also inform the other attendees in advance of your sudden departure, and they should be understanding.

x
Elon Musk's Career Advice

 In the first example, “ “Hello Tim, I realize we have a meeting at 2 p.m. today but,” According to my son’s school, he has been sick throughout the day, so I am not able to make the 2 p.m. meeting. Can we cancel the meeting or move it to a later time, since I have to go get him right now? 

“My eldest daughter doesn’t get back to the house until 4 p.m., so I won’t be able to find someone to babysit on such short notice.”

2. Unpredictable weather

Conditions that could damage you or your vehicle pose a risk to your safety when you are traveling. Having said that, it does not necessarily mean you should cancel your appointment because of a little rain.

Staying at home is usually required when extreme conditions exist, for example, a severe thunderstorm or blizzard. You are not obligated to attend a meeting if the date of the meeting has been set for a specific day with a weather alert for that day. It is possible to escape your meeting by using a weather alert, especially if nothing dramatic is expected to happen.

Attending a meeting without risking your safety is not what your boss would expect from you. It is possible that he/she will not be able to attend the meeting, too.

For example, “Good afternoon, Marjorie. I just finished watching the news and I just heard that we are in the middle of a nasty storm. I’m hoping we can reschedule our meeting to another time that is more convenient.”

3. Flight was delayed 

Your schedule is probably often disrupted by delayed and canceled flights when you travel for work. It is possible for flights to be delayed for a number of reasons such as adverse weather conditions, air traffic controllers’ restrictions, bird strikes, other delayed flights, or waiting for cargo. As a final note, there are numerous other causes of a delayed flight. Your situation does not seem under your control when this happens. 

You have to stay at home unless you can get to your meeting on time by renting a car. This can be an acceptable excuse for taking a trip when your employer is aware you have obligations. Unless otherwise stated, the statements in the following example are not outlandish.

Good morning, Mr. Mitchell. I am at the airport right now. It was told to me that my flight is delayed and will now depart at 2 p.m. Consequently, I must call off our meeting scheduled for 9 a.m.

4. Traffic congestion

Congestion makes it necessary to leave your home or office much earlier to get to your meeting location if you live in a congested city. Occasionally, even if you leave on time, you may still have to stay late.

Traffic jams are generally viewed as poor excuses for being late, but if you are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, it would be unreasonable for you to ask someone to wait until you are there.

 It is not uncommon to sit in traffic for hours on end. A meeting that is canceled makes more sense than trying to keep someone waiting for you. Providing you have not left your home already, a cancellation will work. If the roadway has been blocked by an accident, you can use this technique.

When you’re stuck in traffic, you may cancel your meeting if you have too long until you reach your final destination. When you live in a big city, heavy traffic is also an excuse you can use because it is a very common thing to experience there. This is why you are likely to be believed by your boss or client when you ask to cancel or reschedule a meeting.

For example, “. It’s crazy busy today, Ron! You wouldn’t know how busy it is. I’m barely moving after nearly an hour. The best thing would be for us to call it a day if you can wait. This meeting can be arranged for another time in our schedule.”

5. It’s a bad cold

The office is not the time to be sneezing or coughing uncontrollably. Especially during face-to-face meetings. There is no doubt that this would disrupt your meeting. You should stay home if you’re sick, rather than potentially infecting others.

 It is possible that your illness is gastrointestinal as well. There could be things on your stomach that don’t agree with you, like clams that taste bad or bad food that you ate. A doctor should be consulted if you are experiencing severe or unexplained stomach pains. 

Your doctor should also be consulted if you hunch over or rush to the bathroom due to stomach pain. It is certain that you will not be able to operate at your best if you present these symptoms, and you should not be working.

This type of sudden illness may leave you with no time to see a doctor, or maybe you are about to leave for one in the morning. No matter what, staying home is the best choice, especially if you’re terribly ill. Since it is a legitimate excuse, this is one of the most common reasons for canceling a meeting. When workers get sick, they should not spread disease among their colleagues.

“Unfortunately, we will have to cancel our scheduled meeting at 4 p.m. This morning. After getting my toddler’s flu, I am too easily ill to work.” I couldn’t make the pitch because I am too weak to come into work.”

6. Error on the schedule because of assistant or secretary  

It is not uncommon for there to be some scheduling errors if you have a very busy schedule, and your intern or assistant is trying to keep track of it all. New interns and assistants may make mistakes, especially during the first few months.

Due to an error, you may be required to rearrange, reschedule, or cancel certain things in your schedule. An acceptable reason to reschedule or cancel an appointment with a client or customer is this.

You can’t do much about the error once the meeting has ended, because it wasn’t your fault. Having double-booked yourself or scheduling the meeting at the wrong time, for instance, may make it more difficult to attend the meeting that you were unaware of.

“Hi Martin, I scanned my schedule again today and found two meetings scheduled for 2 p.m. Due to this error, I will have to cancel our meeting and reschedule it. My apologies for any inconvenience.

7. A technical problem has been encountered

It’s not uncommon for technology to fail us from time to time, but it’s not always reliable. In addition to poor internet connections, damaged laptops, low sound quality for a microphone, and faulty webcams, technical difficulties might arise.

It is possible for anyone to experience this problem, regardless of how high-tech or expensive their device may be. There may be times when a simple solution with a customer service representative does not resolve the issue before your meeting.

You may be able to explain the situation to the other attendees once you explain your situation. It is possible that they will bear with the situation until it is resolved. If you cannot resolve the issue before the meeting, it must be canceled.

For example, “Hello everyone, I’ll be unable to host the Zoom meeting at 3 p.m. due to some connectivity issues. We’ll schedule a new meeting after I sort out the issue.”

8. Unexpected power outage

The difference between technical difficulties and power outages is that you cannot do anything about them. There is nothing you can do for now but wait for the electric company to solve the problem for you.

Due to this, you will be unable to have your meeting because you will be in the dark at home. Furthermore, your internet connection may be affected, as well as your devices losing power or charging in the middle of the meeting.

Meetings via video call in the dark would not be a good idea. Having no power to keep your computer or phone connection is not a good idea when you are having an audio meeting. If your laptop or tablet dies mid-conversation, you can imagine the frustration that would follow. Power outages can make a meeting ineffective and require a cancellation, as any logical individual can understand.

“I am currently experiencing complete darkness in my neighborhood, and I am hearing that it will continue for a few hours or more through the entire city.” We can postpone the meeting until power is restored.”

9. A death in the family or nearby relative

 It’s especially painful when a member of the family dies suddenly since they don’t get to say goodbye. When you are very overcome with grief, it will be difficult to focus on anything, and you won’t be able to manage a meeting at all.

You can use this excuse when your boss is compassionate or when a client is too. Usually, the other person will understand if you need a little time to recuperate before returning to the fray. If the unfortunate incident occurred at work or with a client, here is how you should inform them:

“I apologize that we had to cancel today’s meeting”. I regret the inconvenience to everyone. The news reached me this morning that my grandmother had passed away in the hospital. Since then, I have been in mourning. My family and I appreciate your thoughts at this difficult time. Thank you.”

10. The client makes a last-minute request 

There are times when clients fail to understand your other duties. Despite your desire to provide top-quality service to your client, you will have other obligations.

 It is common for clients to be overly demanding, and at other times, they will forget things that will result in more work for you in the future. For instance, some clients want to update dates, times, or goals at the last minute. When you receive a last-minute request prior to a meeting, your boss will probably prefer it if you attend to the needs of the client to keep him/her satisfied.

If I can’t make it at 4 p.m. I have to cancel our meeting. This morning. Earlier this morning, I received a phone call from Mrs. Whitby, and she requested that I [insert request]. I was entrusted with taking care of it by name.”

11.  Another meeting is happening at the same time 

Consecutive meetings can be exhausting. Would you mind spending a whole day going to meetings and back?

 As it turns out, this actually does happen. Some of these meetings can run over their allotted time, and they may interfere with your next scheduled meeting. In such cases, you cannot get off the phone because the person is probably hoping to find a way to complete the conversation. 

Meeting cancellations were included on this list because it is a major reason for not only face-to-face meetings but also video and audio meetings. Whenever something like this occurs, you will need to cancel and notify your boss, client, or colleague. As an example, here is what I wrote:

Mr. Richards, it is my pleasure to talk to you. Although we had a meeting scheduled for a few minutes ago, my meeting with my client is taking longer than anticipated. We will postpone the meeting for now, and I’ll send you the most important details over email.”

How to cancel a meeting if there is a need to. 

1. Attendees should be notified at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of the meeting 

After saying yes to attending a meeting, if you realize later that you cannot go, let the meeting participants know immediately.

Leaving things to the last minute is not a good idea. The CEO usually only reviews the calendar in the morning, therefore it often goes unnoticed if a change of last-minute is made in the afternoon. As soon as the meeting starts, everyone starts asking, “Where is Boss?”

(Wasting a dozen minutes of each other’s time on an international conference call that never gets anywhere because key players are absent is worse than nothing.)

2. You should always call 

Whenever something unavoidable comes up, call right away. Texting is a bad idea! Let them know you are sorry for the schedule adjustment and that something unexpected has come up.

3. Give only the most important details.

Usually, we overextend ourselves with our excuses, which makes it seem “fishy.” Apologize for the change in plans, and let them know that you apologize for being late. Promise to keep in touch.

4. You shouldn’t just say “let’s get together soon” unless you mean it.

Don’t forget your lesson. Let go of any invitation you accepted out of impulse, or if you are not sure if you will be able to follow through next time. The better decision is to decline an RSVP over making excuses later.

5. Follow up as soon as possible after canceling

You should make it a point to contact me shortly after the event if you had to cancel at the last minute. To make up for the blunder, your best bet would be to treat and at the very least ask thoughtful questions about the party you missed. Your friend will know you are truly sorry to miss out on the fun if you say sorry in person!

6. Post responsibly online.

A friend or host who finds your Facebook or Instagram account, and you were not sick but at another event, could lose credibility and your friend.

 7. Reschedule another date for the canceled meeting

In the event that you cannot keep your promise, you should try to reschedule or plan a new time. This is particularly important if you have canceled an appointment for business purposes. The responsibility for rescheduling rests with you since you canceled. Whenever you cancel, ask, “Can we reschedule?” When this statement is made, the other party is able to back out easily if it isn’t convenient for them to meet again. In addition, they will appreciate your efforts!

Rescheduling a canceled meeting  

How do you reschedule a meeting? 

When you reschedule a meeting through email, you are politely and formally telling all attendees that you have changed the schedule. In the email, the reason for the cancellation is explained, along with the date and location for the meeting’s rescheduling. In addition, you will be able to apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the rescheduled meeting.

Rescheduling a meeting: What is the best way to do it?

The email you plan on sending to your recipients should contain the following information. 

  1. Use descriptive subject lines: Include the name of your company, the date of the meeting, and the words ‘meeting cancellation’ or ‘meeting rescheduling’. This way, the recipients will understand the email easily.
  1. Email an individual with their name: It’s important to use a single person’s name when postponing a meeting. It may be addressed to ‘everyone’ if it is being sent to a lot of recipients.
  1. Notify your attendees in advance: Cancelling a meeting in advance is preferable to be forced to do so because of unforeseen circumstances. This will allow people to readjust their schedules.
  1. Be sorry for the inconvenience: Start by apologizing for any inconvenience caused by the meeting cancellation.
  1. Explain why the meeting has been canceled: Provide a plausible reason why the meeting has been canceled. In such a case, you should explain the circumstances. Give a brief explanation and apologize again if this was due to personal reasons. Any of the above reasons can be a genuine explanation as to why the meeting was canceled. 
  1. Providing a new date and time for the rescheduled meeting: When you reschedule a meeting, let the recipients know when and at what time you would like to meet with them. Ensure that their schedule can be adjusted to suit the new time schedule and ask them if they will be open to it.
  1. Thanks, the recipient for their time and attention: Thank the recipient for their patient understanding at the end of the email. Keeping business people on their toes is not easy, especially when changing the time and date of a meeting. Several adjustments may have to be made for you.
  1. Send the email promptly: Don’t wait until the last minute to send the email: It’s not a good idea to put it off until the last minute. Send the email as soon as possible to show consideration for the recipients’ time.
  1. Message or phone call upon canceling: If the meeting is being canceled last minute, follow the email with a call or message to the participants. It’s possible that your notification was missed by people who don’t frequently check their email.
Excuses to Cancel a Meeting- A Complete Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top
Land your Dream Job
Get actional first hand insights from people who share their job search stories.