Difference Between Monologic and Dialogic Communication

Key Difference – Monologic vs Dialogic Communication

Although the term communication implies an interaction between two or more people and transmission of information, communication does not always take place in a fair manner. Monologic and dialogic communications describe two types of communication patterns.  The key difference between monologic and dialogic communication lies in the interaction between the speaker and listener; in monologic communication, one person speakes while the other listens whereas, in dialogic communication, the roles of speaker and listener are interchanged within the participants.

What is Monologic Communication?

In simple words, a monologic communication can be described as an occasion where one person speaks, and the other listens. However, there is no real interaction between participants since the communication is only one-directional. The monologic communicator is only interested in his or her own goals and has no real interest or concern for the listener’s attitudes and feelings. The communicator may also show a reluctance to talk about or listen to the other person’s ideas. He or she would frequently give negative personal judgments and negative criticism about the listener. The monologic communicator may also request the listener to say positive things about himself (about the communicator).

According to Johannsen (1996), the monologic communicator attempts to “ command, coerce, manipulate, conquer, dazzle, deceive, or exploit”.  He does not take others seriously since he views others as ‘things’ to be exploited. The focus in monologic communication is not on the audience’s’ or listener’s’ real needs, but on the communicators’ message and purpose. The communicator needs responses or feedback from the listeners only to further his purpose, not to help the audience to understand or to clarify unclear points. In addition, monologic communicators have a superior and often condescending attitude towards the audience.

All in all, monologic communication involves control and manipulation, and there is no real interaction between the two people involved in the communication.

Difference Between Monologic and Dialogic Communication

What is Dialogic Communication?

Dialogic communication is an interaction where each person involved plays the role of both speaker and listener. In other words, this is a communication where everyone has a chance to express themselves. Mutual understanding and empathy are hallmarks of dialogic communication. There is a deep concern and respect for the other person and the relationship between them in this type of communication.

In this type of interaction, the listeners and speakers have the right to make their own choices without coercion, pressure, fear or threat of punishment. Dialogic communicators avoid negative criticism and negative personal judgment and use positive criticism in their stead. The communicators always show a willingness to listen to each other and indicate involvement by giving cues such as nonverbal actions, paraphrasing, expressions of agreements, etc. Dialogic communicator also does not manipulate the conversation to achieve his or her goals.

Key Difference - Monologic vs Dialogic Communication

What is the difference between Monologic and Dialogic Communication?

Type of Interaction:

Monologic Communication: One person speaks, and the other listens.

Dialogic Communication: All the participants get a chance to speak and listen.

Respect and Concern:

Monologic Communication: There is no concern or respect for the other participants.

Dialogic Communication: There is concern and respect for the other participants.


Monologic Communication: Monologic communicator gives negative criticism, negative personal judgments to others, but wants other to give him positive comments.

Dialogic Communication: Dialogic communicator gives positive criticism instead of negative criticism, negative personal judgments.

Control and Manipulation:

Monologic Communication: Monologic communicator uses manipulation and control.

Dialogic Communication: Dialogic communicators do not use manipulation and control.


Johannesen, Richard L. (1996). Ethics in Human Communication, 4th ed. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

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