The working relationship you have with your supervisor is unique, and it is normal for it to be the source of frustration at some point during your Ph.D. This is because your supervisor is the one person who is likely to be challenging and (constructively) questioning your ideas on a regular basis. Like any working relationship, the partnership between you and your supervisor has to be negotiated and will change over time; you also have to accommodate each others' learning and communication styles. The suggestions on this page offer some good principles and strategies for working effectively with your supervisor.
Each supervisor has a different way of going about it, but a common approach is your supervisor will expect that you can manage your research project from the start, and will leave you to get on with it, until you ask for assistance. Of course, there are always exceptions, and some supervisors do give a lot more guidance and close monitoring at the beginning.
Get to know as much as possible about how your supervisor works and thinks:
Knowing this will help you better understand the direction and purpose of their advice.
Also identify your supervisor's learning preferences, as well as your own:
This may help you explain how you work with your supervisor, and how you can compromise if your styles are different.
Before supervisions prepare for the meeting by thinking of:
Don't be afraid to put questions to your supervisor, but it is often better to ask specific questions that you have attempted to find answers to first. Instead of asking "How am I doing?" you are more likely to get the detailed answer you need if you ask, "What do you think of the methodology I am using in Chapter 1?"
During your supervisions:
After your supervisions: