How to Politely Tell Someone They Missed a Meeting: Professional Tips

When communicating with someone who missed a meeting, it’s important to set the right tone from the beginning. Your tone should be confident, knowledgeable, neutral, clear, and respectful. 

Keep in mind that there could be a variety of reasons why the person missed the meeting, so it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding.

The purpose of a meeting can vary depending on the situation. It can be used to share information, brainstorm ideas, make decisions, or provide updates. Whatever the purpose, meetings are an opportunity to collaborate and work towards a common goal. When you miss a meeting, you not only miss out on the information shared but also the opportunity to connect with colleagues and contribute to the discussion. This can impact the value of the meeting and the overall productivity of the team.

First, start your email by acknowledging the person’s absence. Be clear and direct, but avoid sounding accusatory or angry. For example, you could say something like, “I noticed that you weren’t able to attend our meeting yesterday.”

Next, express your understanding that things come up and schedules can be difficult to manage. This shows that you are empathetic to their situation and not just focused on your own needs. You could say something like, “I understand that things can come up unexpectedly and schedules can be challenging to manage.”

It’s also important to be clear about the purpose of the meeting and what was discussed. This will help the person catch up on any important information they missed. You could summarize the key points in bullet points or a table to make it easy to read and understand.

Finally, end your email on a positive note. You could express your hope that the person is doing well and that you look forward to connecting with them in the future. This shows that you value their time and input and that you are not holding a grudge for their absence.

Identifying the Missed Meeting and How to Follow-Up

When someone misses a meeting, the first priority should be identifying which meeting was missed to avoid any confusion. Here are some tips to help you identify the missed meeting:

  • Check your calendar: Review your calendar to confirm the date and time of the missed meeting. This will help you provide accurate information to the person who missed the meeting.
  • Check your email: Look for any emails related to the missed meeting. This can include meeting invitations, agendas, or follow-up emails. The email subject line can also provide clues about the missed meeting.
  • Check your notes: If you took notes during the meeting, review them to refresh your memory about what was discussed. This can help you provide context to the person who missed the meeting.

Structuring the Follow-Up Email

After identifying all the details about the missed meeting, it’s time to create a follow-up email. You must structure your message in a clear and concise way. Here are some tips for structuring your follow-up email:

  1. Start with a friendly greeting: Begin your email with a polite greeting, such as “Hi [Name],” or “Dear [Name],”. This sets a positive tone for the rest of your message.
  2. Acknowledge the missed meeting: In the first paragraph, acknowledge that the person missed the meeting. You can say something like, “I noticed that you weren’t able to attend our meeting on [Date].”
  3. Explain the purpose of the meeting: In the next paragraph, remind the person of the purpose of the meeting. This will help them understand why it was important for them to attend. You can say something like, “During the meeting, we discussed [Topic] and made some important decisions about [Action].”
  4. Express your disappointment: If you’re disappointed that the person missed the meeting, you can express this in a polite and professional way. For example, you could say, “I was looking forward to getting your input on [Topic], so I’m sorry we missed the opportunity to hear your thoughts.”
  5. Offer to reschedule: In the final paragraph, offer to reschedule the meeting or suggest an alternative way to communicate. You can say something like, “If you’re available, I’d be happy to schedule another meeting to discuss [Topic] further. Alternatively, we could set up a phone call or video chat to catch up.”

By structuring your follow-up email in this way, you can ensure that your message is clear, polite, and professional. Using email templates can save you time and ensure that your message is consistent across different follow-up emails.

Avoiding Guilt Trips

When someone misses a meeting, it can be tempting to make them feel guilty for not showing up. However, this approach is rarely effective and can damage the relationship between you and the other person. Here are a few tips to avoid guilt-tripping when you need to politely tell someone they missed a meeting:

  • Be honest and direct: Instead of trying to manipulate the other person with guilt, be honest about your feelings and the impact of their absence. For example, you could say, “I was disappointed that you weren’t able to make it to our meeting. It meant that we couldn’t discuss some important issues that needed your input.”
  • Show empathy: It’s possible that the other person had a valid reason for missing the meeting, so try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective. Acknowledge their situation and offer support if you can. For example, “I understand that you had a family emergency and couldn’t make it to the meeting. I hope everything is okay now. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”
  • Avoid blame and judgment: Guilt-tripping often involves blaming and shaming the other person for their behavior. This can make them defensive and less willing to work with you in the future. Instead, focus on the impact of their absence and how you can move forward. For example, “I realize that things come up unexpectedly, but it would be helpful if we could reschedule the meeting as soon as possible so we don’t fall behind on our project.”
  • Offer solutions, not just criticism: If the other person missed the meeting due to a scheduling conflict or other issue, offer solutions that can help prevent this from happening again in the future. For example, “I know your schedule is busy, so let’s try to find a time that works better for both of us next time. Would it be helpful if I sent you a calendar invite with all the details?”

By following these tips, you can avoid guilt-tripping and maintain a positive relationship with the other person, even if they missed a meeting. Remember to be honest, empathetic, and solution-focused in your communication.

Rescheduling the Missed Meeting

If the person missed the meeting due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, it’s important to reschedule the meeting as soon as possible. Let them know that you understand their situation and that you are willing to work with them to find a new time.

When rescheduling the meeting, it’s important to provide all the relevant information, such as the new meeting time and location. You can use a scheduling tool like Calendly to make the process easier for both parties. With Calendly, you can send a link to the person and allow them to choose a time that works best for them.

When sending the rescheduling info, make sure to be clear and concise. Provide all the necessary details, such as the meeting agenda, any materials that need to be reviewed beforehand, and any other relevant information. This will help ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and that everyone is on the same page.

Make sure to follow up with the person to confirm the new meeting time. This will help avoid any confusion or misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Rescheduling a missed meeting can be a hassle, but it’s important to do so in a professional and courteous manner. By using a scheduling tool and providing all the necessary information, you can make the process easier for both parties and ensure that the meeting is productive, successful, and won’t be missed the second time.