Change communication includes monologic communication and dialogic communication. What is the difference?

Monologic change communication

Monologic change communication is identified as top-down, one-way, instrumental communication. In monologic communication, the organisation is only interested in its own goals and has no real interest or concern for the listener’s attitudes, feelings or opinions. When change communication is monologic, we speak with the same voice and shared understanding and the power lies with those who make the decision about the change. This usually leads to a higher resistance to change as where participants are treated as objects. Examples will be standard procedures and high control policies.

Dialogic change communication

Dialogic change communication is constructive. Here relationships and different perspectives matter. The power is shared among all within the organisation. The employee has as much voice as the CEO. It has the capability to engage with genuine care and respect, create thoughtful discussion and speak truly. It also has positive impacts on innovation and organisational change. The nature of dialogic communication is about creating new meaning, processes or products from the conversation.

Examples could be town hall meetings, staff meetings, anonymous feedback loops, one-on-one group consultations and regular organisation-wide newsletters, emails or briefings. This is provided that the managers and employees have the necessary competencies to carry on the dialogue. This includes strong interpersonal skills, high emotional intelligence and managers equipping employees to be change champions and them stepping away from the desire to be heroes.  People will openly and actively contribute to the change journey.  

These are two examples of change communication, but by now means the only answer. Change communication is more complex than just monologues and dialogues.

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