I have to decide whether I'm staying/leaving my lab soon, but would need a few changes on my PI's part to erase my doubts about whether it's a good idea to stay. Lets assume for all intents and purposes that my advisor really wants me to stay:
I need continuous advising. My advisor tends to have really busy streaks where she will basically lock herself in her office for weeks when overwhelmed (grants/papers etc). Although we still see her every day, it's just in passing, and she's mostly unaccessible. This has been at times detrimental to my project, which is also very exploratory. This is the most important thing for me, but I cannot think of a good way to "demand" it. Only good thing is that she makes it clear that she's also learning, and has asked for suggestions for how to improve.
I need constructive feedback. For better or worse, my advisor has taken to only praise me and give positive feedback. I'm here to learn though, and this is not helpful. I would like to ask her to teach and mentor me.
I also want to make it clear how important these are to me. If I stay and they are not met, I know I will end up dropping out instead of wasting my time, but that's definitely better unsaid. So I have two questions: 1) do you think I should even have a conversation with her, and would you be offended if you students discussed "expectations" with you (I won't phrase it that way obviously. 2) Any advice on how to have this conversation effectively and politely?
Additional detail: I've never brought up any of this, and have just "sucked it up" with a smile. I can't continue doing that though, as it will be wasting years of my time.