Tessa Deighton (nee Rethman)

Executive Coach, Leadership and Transition Coach

Durban & KZN Midlands / Nationwide/ Online

082 444 0314




Durban, South Africa
N3 Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

You have one life to live. What are you doing to make it count?

Introduction and Experience

Believing in a whole-hearted approach to life, Tessa is an energetic, engaging and professional executive coach who has been coaching informally since the early 2000’s and with having completed a Master of Philosophy Degree in Management Coaching through the University of Stellenbosch Business School,  offers a coaching service underpinned by academic rigour together with the tools and techniques and experience mastered through this journey.  With 25 years corporate and entrepreneurial business experience, she brings a deep level of people skills and sound business acumen and started her career in the Recruitment industry.  Here she gained experience across a diverse spectrum of industries, and ultimately moved up the corporate ladder into the broader field of Human Resources and General Management holding positions such as Regional HR Manager for “Big 4” Professional Auditing Firms, the Marketing Profession as Regional Manager of the Marketing Federation of SA in KZN, and later successfully running her own businesses including HR Consulting Services, Training and Facilitation and Coaching.

Having worked with leaders in Partnership, Directorship, Executive and Managerial roles as well as Entrepreneurs, her coaching niche is in developing leadership; building self-awareness and developing personal and practical leadership capabilities critical to a leader’s success both in life and the business world.  Passionate about coaching people through transition, Tessa also works as a ‘transitional coach’ working with those going through transition as a result of company mergers, promotions, career changes or retirement.

With completing a master’s thesis on ‘The role of coaching for corporate executives dealing with the impact of a retirement transition’, I developed a sound understanding of the retirement transition and work together with retiring and retired executives, through coaching, to embrace this next chapter in their lives and move their identity from one of productivity to purpose.  Benefits to corporates include keeping the retiree committed to the organisation, unlocking mentoring potential and to encourage the transfer of IP.

Coaching Specialization

  • Coaching leaders in both corporate and the entrepreneurial arena.
  • Leadership development
  • Transition coaching
  • Career Coaching
  • Retirement Coaching

Coaching Model

During my master’s degree, I developed the Kaleidoscope coaching model.  This model is underpinned by theoretical inputs, applied in varying degrees dependent on the requirement of the individual and the organisation.  These theoretical underpinnings include: The Thinking Environment (Kline, 1999): “the quality of my listening helps the client’s quality of their thinking”; Positive Psychology (Csikszentmihalyi, Seligman, 1991): Working with people’s talents and strengths to build them positively; and Integral Theory & Model (Wilbur, 2003): A holistic, integrative and whole approach looking at numerous aspects of a client’s reality from different angles and levels.

I believe that the benefit of building self-awareness is the unlocking of a desire for improvement and fulfillment together with the ability to embrace change.   Coaching has highlighted for me, that human beings have untapped potential and unlocking this, builds the desire to be the best they can be.  The benefits of this, for both individual and corporate, are numerous.

Educational Background

  • Master of Philosophy in Management Coaching (UStell) (NQF9)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (NQF8)
  • Graduate Diploma in Marketing (NQF6) – IMM
  • Certificate in Fundamentals of Project Management – UCT
  • Train the Trainer (NQF4)
  • Accredited Enneagram Practitioner

Currently a member of COMENSA.


Tessa is able to tailor-make her coaching approach and look at things holistically.  Her experience in the corporate world in HR and other consulting roles, has equipped her to coach from a place of authority.
Andrew – MD, Manufacturing concern

I appreciated Tessa’s ability to remain neutral throughout the coaching process.  She has the ability to listen, process and guide the sessions in a way that I would benefit fully.  There was great advantage in going back and reviewing the progress, thereby encouraging further growth. 
Arianne – NPO Founder and Lead

Tessa helped me gain a greater self-awareness and I realised how out of balance my life and thoughts were.  The coaching process enabled me to be accountable and the feedback on the process was consistently positive.
Kirsten – Pastoral Leadership Team

Tessa made me realise that if you are focused and inspired, you can achieve anything.  You need to believe it, you need to know your strengths and work methodically on your limitations.  The process allowed me to believe in myself and my self-worth.
Dawn – Regional Sales Manager

I found the process to be one of collaboration between myself and Tessa to identify areas of my life and personality that were causing me to feel a lack of control and purpose.  Instead of being told what I needed to change, I was guided by Tessa to find solutions and given the skills to implement these.  It was revelation to discover a set of beliefs I had that were self-limiting, and not necessarily accurate, and discovering that I could change these beliefs.  The entire process was a positive experience and has left me feeling more confident and motivated to create a more fulfilling future for myself.
Josi – Franchise Owner