Well, as I mentioned yesterday, each group works a little differently. Some are super-duper serious and do a lot of work, some are a little more than laid back. However this group works, it's up to you to show up and do that work.
In most of the groups I've ever been a part of, we've simply read a section of story to one another and listened to the feedback on that section. Sometimes, it was simply a discussion of an issue someone was trying to work through. Some groups have many readers in a session, some groups focus on one reader for a bit. Some don't require written feedback (most, I would argue), where each member is sent the section being read so they can mark it up with suggestions and feedback, some do. No matter what this group does, you need to do it too.
If it's your turn to read, then make sure you have something worth reading. It doesn't have to be much, but I do highly recommend getting it as polished as you can. Make sure you've read it aloud at least once before going live in the group, so that you're not confusing yourself as you read. The clearer your reading, the better feedback people can provide. It's nearly impossible to offer feedback on something that someone changes on the fly, if sentences are stopped halfway through, changed, then picked up several words later.
Reading aloud to a group of people can be terrifying. Who am I kidding? It is terrifying. Stuttering and stumbling is alright. As long as the text is relatively clean, most listeners can forgive stumbles. Besides, it's really excellent practice for all those public readings you're going to have to do to when you're published. If you've chosen the right group, then you've also got the benefit of your audience actively rooting for you, and being there to help you in your quest.
You lucky dog, you.
Right, so you've gotten your piece to read, and it's clean. Not perfect, of course, because why then would you need feedback? But it's clean. You've read it, and it went alright, for the most part. Also, why was arugula the word you found difficult to pronounce? Now, it's your audience's turn.
Accepting feedback means you're going to have to be prepared to hear the words 'no' and 'not working' and 'you can do better.' You're not there to be told how brilliant you are. You're there to have your story and your craft improved. Sometimes, that can sting; particularly if the only feedback you're used to is to hear your mother tell you how brilliant you are. It's alright to feel hurt. Those feelings are perfectly valid. Lashing out, dismissing or arguing the point certainly is not. These people just offered you something precious - their time - to hear your story and help you make it stronger. Be grateful, even if you're a little sore. Also, try to take their comments under advisement. It's so easy to simply dismiss a comment off-hand and ignore it, making no changes whatsoever. But try, even if it's upsetting, to consider what they've said and maybe play around with the problem area in your story they've identified. If it still sits well with you, by all means, drop the advice and go with your gut. Be absolutely certain, though, that pride has not pulled the wool over your eyes.
All that said, you don't have to accept abuse, either. If all you're hearing from your fellows is harsh criticism that is in no way constructive (not all criticism, even when harsh, is cruel), and is designed simply to make you feel badly about yourself or your writing, then you haven't found the right group. Get out of there. You don't have to be made to feel like trash in order to improve your writing. Don't put up with that. Life is too short.
Right, tomorrow I'll talk about your responsibilities when you're not the one reading. For now, I have things I need to get done.