The midwife who came to my first birth (with a practice of 5, no knowing who you would get until you called in labor) was pretty directive when I was pushing. As a first time mom, that was actually okay with me at the time. But I knew I wanted something different with my second birth. I was with the same practice, but I picked which midwife I wanted, and I would say she was engaged with what was going on, but not directive. I had made it pretty clear that I didn't want her to do much of anything unless I asked her to (I did ask her for help resolving a cervical lip.) I hired her again for my third birth, but actually got her backup. However, the backup was very laid back and only got there 30 minutes before DD was born. Possibly by temperament/training, possibly because she didn't know me well, she basically just watched and gave DH some minimal directions about how to pass the baby up to me after he caught her (I was in hands and knees.)
What I have formulated for myself about what I expect from a midwife at my birth is that she is there as my backup. It's my birth, I am the one who is ultimately responsible for it and therefore in charge of it. But I want a midwife there because she has certain tools, equipment, and experience I don't have. I will ask her to use them if it's necessary or helpful. In a real emergency, she could step in and use them understanding that by inviting her to be there, I've authorized emergency action. And I've talked about this in this kind of concrete language with my midwives.
I'm just back from a hospital birth I was doula at. There was VERY directive pushing - direction first by the nurse, and then by the doctor. The implication is that there's a 'right' way to do pushing and that the 'experts' know what it is and you (the birthing woman) don't. I can actually see the ritual usefulness of this for many moms in our culture, who have very little exposure to birth, will only do it once or twice in their lives if they are lucky enough not to have a c-section, and don't have any expectations of autonomy at that moment - they just want labor to be over and to meet their baby. And I can see that it's very useful for doctors and nurses, who 'know what to do' at that moment rather than having to watch and maybe coach and have responsibility (because they do in a hospital setting) without authority. It's hard, however, to watch that with the sure knowledge from experience that there isn't ONE right way to push - just the right way to push for a particular mom to get a particular baby out. Because of the particular circumstances of this birth, I didn't try too hard to change the path of the directive river, so to speak. I did just whisper in my client's ear that it was fine to ignore the nurse's direction not to make any noise because it would waste energy. She was making great pushing noises before the nurse came in and 'set her up to push' and fortunately the doctor didn't seem to mind the noise whatsoever, so long as baby was moving down.