I was extremely lucky in my first critique group. Running Away was losing agent interest in the first pages. I read it to the group and they unanimously proclaimed I’d started in the wrong place. They were absolutely right!
The best critique group is going to include people with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills. They’re going to be supportive of each other, even when they’re giving negative feedback. Every person will leave the meeting energized.
Aside from that, there are a lot of different ways critique groups may work. Here are a few variations.