The focus of this paper is a discussion of anxiety and politics as they relate to business school pedagogy. Using ideas from critical management education (CME), the paper explores why and how to engage with the anxiety mobilized through attempts to learn. The aim is to discuss emotional and political dynamics that are generated, and too often avoided, in management education. Making these dynamics overt in the classroom can help managers to comprehend the political context within which management takes place. Examples informed by CME are presented, as well as reflections from the author on the anxiety and politics that emerge for the critical management educator in a business school context. The contribution in the paper is to show the way that anxieties and politics within the business school classroom offer opportunities to change how business schools approach the teaching of managers. CME adds value to management education because it challenges what and how individuals and groups expect to learn, and consequently it challenges assumptions about how learning takes place within business schools. Such challenges are seen as an important and integral part of 'making the business school more critical'.