There are plenty of reasons why you might reschedule a meeting. Perhaps something has come up that you have to attend. Well, you need to know how to politely ask to reschedule a meeting.
Luckily, you have options. This article has gathered the best phrases to postpone a meeting.
- Could we possibly reschedule the meeting?
- Do you mind if we reschedule?
- I would like to advance our meeting a few days
- Can we please advance the meeting?
- I hope you don’t mind if I reschedule
- I really need to reschedule the meeting
- An urgent matter has come up, so I must rearrange our plans
- Is it OK to rearrange the meeting plans?
- I’m sorry, but I need to reschedule the meeting
- If it’s possible, can I rearrange the plans?
Keep reading to learn more about how to request to reschedule a meeting. We’ve provided examples for each to show you which situations they work best for.
1. Could We Possibly Reschedule the Meeting?
Sometimes, you’re forced to reschedule a meeting because of other commitments. It’s no problem if you have to, as long as you know how to politely reschedule a meeting without offending anyone.
That’s where “could we possibly reschedule the meeting?” comes in. It’s a great way to show that you’d like to change the time of a meeting in formal emails.
We recommend using this when you can suggest meeting time changes. As long as you say something that works better for you, it’s acceptable to change a meeting around.
This email sample should help you understand more about it:
Could we possibly reschedule the meeting? Would Friday work better for you to talk this through?
2. Do You Mind if We Reschedule?
Starting a question with “do you mind” always works well to be polite and respectful. We recommend it when meeting with colleagues in internal situations.
Generally, a phrase like “do you mind if we reschedule?” works best when you know someone’s schedule. It shows you can look at someone’s Outlook calendar and see that they have nothing to do on another day that might be more appropriate for you.
Check out the following example as well:
3. I Would Like to Advance Our Meeting a Few Days
A simple message to reschedule a meeting is “I would like to advance our meeting a few days.” It works well as a professional way to say you need to reschedule a meeting.
We recommend this when emailing clients to set up business meetings. It shows you would like to change the original plans and advance a meeting to make it more accommodating for you.
Why not refer to the following email example to help you:
I would like to advance our meeting a few days. It would be more suitable if we could do it next week.
All the best,
4. Can We Please Advance the Meeting?
Another simple question to use to reschedule a meeting is “can we please advance the meeting?” It works well because it’s polite and formal, making it a great choice when changing plans for both internal and external meetings.
Generally, this phrase works best when you have alternative times in mind. It shows you’d like to rearrange to something that’s more appropriate for you.
Check out the following example to see how to use it:
Can we please advance the meeting to tomorrow? I’m still very keen to meet with you, but I can’t do it today!
5. I Hope You Don’t Mind if I Reschedule
Knowing how to request to reschedule a meeting doesn’t have to be rocket science. Keep it simple with a polite request like “I hope you don’t mind if I reschedule.” It works really well in most formal settings, making it an excellent synonym to use.
We highly recommend this when rearranging an online meeting (i.e., on Zoom or in Microsoft Teams). It’s effective and shows that you have already decided to reschedule it, even if you haven’t run that by people first.
Perhaps this example will also help you make sense of it:
I hope you don’t mind if I reschedule our Zoom meeting. I’m not going to be able to attend if we host it today.
6. I Really Need to Reschedule the Meeting
There can be plenty of reasons why you might need to reschedule something. Try saying “I really need to reschedule the meeting” when something important gets in the way. It shows that you have no choice but to rearrange something.
Generally, this one works best in emails to colleagues. It shows that you’d like to rearrange a time with them. We do, however, suggest having a time ready to suggest rather than just canceling the plan entirely.
You should refer to this example if you’re still not sure:
I really need to reschedule the meeting for tomorrow. Is there any way we can do this another day?
Thank you so much,
7. An Urgent Matter Has Come Up, so I Must Rearrange Our Plans
Any number of problems can occur that might make you rearrange a meeting. So, make this clear with “an urgent matter has come up, so I must rearrange our plans.” It’s clear and concise, so it works really well.
You should use this when rearranging plans with colleagues. It shows that you care about their busy schedules enough to apologize for rearranging something.
Here is a helpful example to also show you how it works:
An urgent matter has come up, so I must rearrange our plans. I’m so sorry if this is an inconvenience.
8. Is It OK to Rearrange the Meeting Plans?
You should learn how to suggest meeting times in an email. You can start with a simple question like “is it OK to rearrange the meeting plans?” From there, we recommend offering a few times as alternatives.
That way, you can try to quickly reschedule your plans. It shows you’re proactive and don’t want to cause too much trouble by rescheduling.
We highly recommend this when emailing colleagues. It shows you don’t want to interfere with their calendar too much. You can always check a colleague’s calendar as well before suggesting a new time that works.
Check out this example if you’re still unsure:
Is it OK to rearrange the meeting plans for another time? Some things have come to my attention that I can’t ignore.
All the best,
9. I’m Sorry, but I Need to Reschedule the Meeting
Start with “I’m sorry.” You can’t go wrong with it. It’s apologetic and sincere and works well in most formal emails.
From there, you could say “I need to reschedule the meeting.” It shows that you’d like to continue a meeting, but you may need to look into alternative times.
This one works best when emailing clients outside of the workplace. It shows you regret having to change the original plans, but sometimes it’s out of your control.
You can also refer to the following example:
I’m sorry, but I need to reschedule the meeting. I am still excited to talk things through, but I need a few more days.
10. If It’s Possible, Can I Rearrange the Plans?
Questions always show that you respect the recipient before trying to change plans too soon. So, why not start with “if it’s possible, can I rearrange the plans?” It shows you’re keen to meet with someone, but you can’t make the original time.
For instance, you might use it when emailing clients about a business meeting. You should suggest a new time to a client if you have to rearrange the plan.
That way, they can deny your request to change the plans or accept the new time if it’s still suitable. It shows the client that they’re important and in control.
Here’s an example to help you understand it:
If it’s possible, can I rearrange the plans with you? How about Thursday at 3 instead? Does that work?
All the best,
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.