How many times have you been unable to see or hear your partner? Wind, rushing rivers, and ledges conspire against you. You’re not sure if you’re on belay, so you spend a tense 2-10 minutes shouting back and forth trying to communicate.
Stop on a ledge where you can still see your partner and place the anchor pieces high. When you’re the leader, if you position yourself so you can see the second, communication between team members is increased. To facilitate this, you sometimes need to lean back off the anchor or hang completely off the ledge. If your anchors are appropriately strong, then you shouldn’t give it a second thought. Your belay anchor is a tool and it’s OK to use it to hang from, belay from, and as your first piece for the next pitch.
When you can see each other, simple hand signals suffice to tell your partner what’s going on. For example, when the leader is safe they lean out and give the universal “cut your throat” signal to take them off belay. When the leader is ready to belay you they motion for you to “come on up” with their hand.