Whether you have a portion of your story read aloud for a round-the-table, here are my first impressions, feedback, or a more in-depth written critique, where people have a week or two to go over your story in detail and provide a more considered response, the results can delight or disappoint, but are rarely worthless.
I believe both systems have their merits, provided you make the decision to be a: thick-skinned and b: take any and all feedback with a pinch of salt (after all, like spouses and children, opinions should be embraced or ignored at your discretion).
I think we all have a good idea about what we hope to get from a critique, but how about the other guy or gal? Do you use the same review system for everyone, or do you try and tailor it to (what you consider to be) that person's needs, based on your perception of their skill level?
I plan to go into more detail on this next week, but for now, I'd love to hear other people's approach to this.
How do you see your role as a critiquer? Are you a take no prisoners, if they can't stand the heat... kind of a person? Do you treat different writers in a different way, and if so how and why?