They are not the same thing.
In brief, “the difference between dialogue and discussion is that dialogue is a conversation or other form of discourse between two or more individuals while discussion is conversation or debate concerning a particular topic.” https://wikidiff.com/dialogue/discussion
One site http://www.extraordinaryteam.com/dialogue_discussion/ gives a more detailed explanation and proposes a process:
In a discussion, opposing views are presented and defended and the team searches for the best view to help make a team decision. In a discussion, people want their own views to be accepted by the group. The emphasis is on winning rather than on learning.
In dialogue, people freely and creatively explore issues, listen deeply to each other and suspend their own views in search of the truth. People in dialogue have access to a larger pool of knowledge than any one person enjoys. The primary purpose is to enlarge ideas, not to diminish them. It’s not about winning acceptance of a viewpoint, but exploring every option and agreeing to do what is right.
Dialogue helps teams to open closed subjects, remove blocks to communication and heal rifts. To build a climate that supports dialogue, try:
Teams must balance dialogue with useful discussion. In dialogue, different views are explored. In a healthy discussion that follows, they easily converge into a common decision about the right action to take.
Following material is copyright ©2019, Judy Otto, JudyOtto@Foundations-for-Change.com
Dialogue is a way of sharing and hearing information, thoughts, and feelings without necessarily having to make a decision. It may be used as a way to collect such data, and often the appropriate decision emerges through the dialogue.
Dialogue is outside of our familiar forms of conversation, discussion, and debate.
“Speakers can speak from a deep place without concern that they will be interrupted, criticized or judged. Thus they can be more truthful, creative, and less self-conscious. Listeners may listen free from the need to construct responses, be intelligent, witty, or critical. They are able to take information in and not respond, thus relaxing and opening to the full and true content of the speaker’s message.” (Schecter and Faithorn 1986)
The group sits in a circle. The facilitator introduces the Dialogue process (sometimes called Council process), proposes and/or helps the group generate guidelines (see next page), and introduces the topic for Dialogue, i.e. the issue or question for which the group has been convened.
After the facilitator opens the dialogue, the person to her/his left speaks, and then the next person to the left, and so on. Anyone may “pass”, i.e. not speak when it’s her/his turn. Until the current speaker is finished, no one else may speak, interrupt, or question that speaker.
A time frame should be set, and as many “rounds” as necessary completed within that time frame. A new round should not be begun if there isn’t sufficient time left for everyone in the circle to speak. If some time is left, continue the Dialogue in a less structured manner, i.e. people speaking when moved to do so vs. going around the circle. Be careful, though, to observe the same guidelines.
While waiting for your turn, try not to rehearse what you will say. If you do rehearse, you will not be able to listen to those speaking before you. Also, someone else may have Spoken about what you wanted to bring up, or you may have changed your mind by the time it’s your turn, or you may have resolved your reaction within yourself.
When it is your turn, reflect for a moment to see what, if anything, you want to say. Allow yourself the luxury of that time to see what seems important to say. Allow those immediate thoughts and feelings to emerge spontaneously, Trust yourself that you will say what is important to say when your time comes, without first rehearsing your words.
Experiment with allowing your mind to be changed and being satisfied with someone else bringing up your ideas. After all, Dialogue is not like discussion as we know it. We’re used to debating, rebutting, disagreeing, and agreeing. Dialogue is none of those. It’s an opportunity for you to speak from your heart, for yourself, when it’s your turn. But more than that, it’s a discipline in listening to others and noticing your own reactions to them, your assumptions, and your conclusions. To do this, you will have to “suspend” your reactions, feelings, judgments, and impulses, and notice yourself doing that. Notice how often you are tempted to respond, judge, agree or disagree.
In Dialogue you also need to be responsible in what you say and how you say it: speak concisely, knowing that you are one of several who want to speak, and speak clearly, and knowing that no one may interrupt to question you for clarity. Help others keep their minds open by avoiding words and phrases that are likely to cause negative reactions in others.